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March 20. 2013 11:24PM

Monarchs lose in Springfield

Curtis McElhinney recorded his American Hockey League-leading ninth shutout of the season as the Springfield Falcons blanked the Manchester Monarchs, 2-0, Wednesday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

The Monarchs (29-27-3-4, 65 points) have lost three straight games, scoring just one goal in that span. They lost, 3-0, to Connecticut at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn. last Saturday and lost to Providence, 3-1, on Sunday at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Rhode Island.

The Monarchs are tied with Albany for ninth place, but Albany has played three fewer games. Both teams are chasing Hershey and Connecticut, both with 68 points, for the last two playoff berths in the Eastern Conference.

Manchester has 13 games left to play in the regular season.

Manchester had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:26 but didn't get one shot on net during the first period. Manchester is now 0-for-11 on the power play since Saturday's loss to Connecticut.

Thomas Larkin, a product of Colgate playing in just his second professional game, scored his first professional goal in the first period when he beat Manchester goalie Martin Jones (29 saves) with a wrist shot from the right wing circle. Nearly five minutes later Andrew Joudrey stole a pass intended for Linden Vey by Jones and scored an unassisted open net goal for the two-goal margin lead.

McElhinney was credited with 25 saves including 10 in the last frame. Springfield, which held a 27-15 shot advantage after two periods, wound up with 31 shots on net. The win snaps a six-game losing streak for the Falcons, who surpassed last year's total of 78 points. They have 79 points and are in third place in the Eastern Conference.

Manchester returns home to play Hershey Saturday at 7 p.m. and St. John's Sunday in a 3 p.m. start at the Verizon Wireless Arena.


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